Motivational Issues

Whilst OGRE is pressing on, what with 1.0.2 recently (and some more fixes since then), and Dagon with it’s pleasant smattering of new features, I can’t help acknowledging that I’m in something of a funk right now. I can’t actually remember a time when my motivation was lower than it has been over the past couple of weeks - I’m finding myself approaching the forums with some level of dread at the work they might generate, current Dagon work is going much slower than it could be and generally fails to spark my interest, and whilst I have some great ‘next step’ projects in early phases, something within me asks ‘will it be worth it?

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Music Meme

Damien fired a music meme at me on Friday, presumably to test whether I have any remaining connection to the world beyond that of little spinning cubes (shiny, shiny cubes they are). So here we are: Total volume of music files on my computer: At present, 4.53GB, although I still have a stack of CDs next to my desk that I really must get around to ripping sometime… Song playing right now:

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All Spammers Must Die

Human rights are very popular these days. In some ways this is good, such as empowering the genuinely oppressed and disadvantaged; in some ways bad, such as giving natural wingemongerers a perfect conduit to lobby that society does in fact owe them a living. But one of the worst things about human rights is that we can no longer string people up by their genitalia in damp, rat-infested dungeons, no matter how very, very badly they deserve it.

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I’ve been having a good hack at the patch mountain over the last few days, and have got it down to a reasonable size again. I’m now working on a few Dagon features - the sortable billboards / particles code is in using my new radix sort class, and I’m currently beavering away at allowing the registration of MovableObjectFactory instances, for simple plugging in of custom object creators. I’m also tweaking the SceneQuery code a little to make it deal with larger numbers of object types a little better.

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Well, I got back to XSI today, and rewrote the IK sampler a different way to avoid the problems I’d been getting whilst trying to sample into another ActionSource. It now means there are 2 completely different paths through the exporter, rather than IK sampling being an extra preprocessing step. Luckily, the new approach works beautifully, so I’ll be able to release a new version of the exporter now. 😀I just need to tidy up the material exporting a little, but that’s no biggie.

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Out of the blue last week, I had an email from none other than the Sony PS3 graphic architect, who also happens to be one of the head honchos at the Collada project. The project is all about the open interchange of 3D assets between tools and engines, which is definitely a good thing. There have been attempts at this before, but either the formats have been controlled by one vendor (FBX, dotXSI), or they’ve been generalised a little too much (VRML, X3D), making them difficult to use effectively.

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While waiting for a resolution to my XSI IK sampling problems (in discussion with SoftImage), I started work on a radix sort class, since one of the patches I was processing needed some changes for 1.0 (billboard / particle sorting), and I figured I might as well implement a radix sort instead of the quicksort that was there while I was at it. For those who don’t know what a radix sort is, read Pierre Terdiman’s article on the subject.

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Ooo. I’m so close to finishing the next version of the XSI exporter, but I’m hitting a last minute problem with the IK sampler. I seem to get some problems with the update state of the bones when scripting changing the playcontrol. If I do it manually, or execute the script in small pieces, it works, but running the whole thing in one go results in no changes in the keyframes.

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XSI, XSI, XSI

Sorry, it’s been a while since the last update. I don’t think I’m a natural blogger, partly because I’m so darn busy all the time, and partly because I don’t really think the world has any particular interest in the humdrum miscellany which clutters my everyday existence. I read some blogs and feel like I’m reading a letters column in a women’s magazine, and I really don’t want to contribute to that.

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I’ve been fighting all week to get animations correctly exported from XSI; unfortunately I thought I was further along than I was last week, since although my simple tests were exporting great, ‘real world’ models by actual artists were coming out like they’d been through a car crusher. There were a couple of things that threw me off. Firstly there was the fact that it’s common practice (unknown to me), to build independent bone chains and hook them together by attaching one bone chain to the ‘end effector’ of another.

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